Staying warm during a Chicago winter often means cranking up the heater and running it all day and through the night. As your furnace runs it dries the air. When an indoor plant is exposed to dry air it will close the pores located on its leaf pores in an effort to conserve water. This can result in yellowing and drooping of leaves.
It seems counter-intuitive but most plants need more water during the winter because forced air from the furnace dries plants out. We add more water to the plants under our care during the winter. We water the same schedule, bi-weekly, but add extra volume each watering.
Tropical plants are especially sensitive to the wrong placement. You may think placing them near a heating vent would help them through the long winter months. However, this can quickly result in the situation discussed above: dry air. If you don’t notice your plant’s reactions quickly enough, this can be deadly. Placing your tropical plants in spaces that are prone to drafts can create the same issues.
Keep your plants away from heat vents, doors, and indoor drafts during the winter.
If you have a humidifier, use it near your plants to improve the humidity of the air. Grouping your plants together can also help them out, as they can benefit from each other as they release water through their leaves.
If you live in the Chicago area we don’t need to tell you that there is less sun in the winter. Make sure your plants are in an area that receives sunlight but beware of drafts from windows.